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Columns | Go Far With Kovar

Prepping for
Holiday Spending

by Taylor Kovar

November 8, 2022

Hi Taylor - Trying to get ahead of the holiday gift problems that always seem to catch me off-guard. Family presents are fine, it's all those work exchanges and social gatherings where I seem to spend money I don't have. Any advice?

Hi Roxanne
- I feel your pain. As a guy who prides himself on being generous, it can be pretty frustrating to feel like your generosity is getting spread too thin. All those Secret Santas and White Elephant exchanges and all the rest of them, make you feel like everyone's begging for a present. If you want to stay involved without breaking the bank, here are a few ideas.

1. Regift like crazy. For everything you feel pressured to buy, there's probably an unopened gift sitting in some closet that another person felt pressured to buy for you last year. There's no shame in passing these presents along until they find the right home, especially since many of them were bought for just this type of impersonal gift swap. I understand the fear of looking cheap, but isn't it better to try to find a home for something you don't need than buy another thing no one needs? Since you're getting a jump on this, start looking through the house for things that are in good shape that you'd feel comfortable passing along.

2. Set a limit. If you have any influence over the person planning a gift exchange, try to get them to set a very low spending limit. Honestly, the less people are allowed to spend, the better the gifts end up being. If you have to spend $5 instead of $20, suddenly, you have to think really hard about how far you can make $5 go. Put together a snack pack, get something interesting at a yard sale, whatever you can think up. I promise other people are just as eager as you are to tighten the purse strings this time of year and will appreciate the forced savings.

3. Give in someone's honor. In years past, we've done a little bookkeeping magic and combined our tithing and our gift-giving. Whether through your church or a charity, your money will go a lot further when you skip the wrapped present and make a meaningful donation. If you already tithe regularly, and I encourage you to do so, you can just increase those amounts by a little and then let the recipient know you gave in their honor. People always appreciate the gesture and I'm sure it will make you feel better about all the money that's flying out of your bank account.

'Tis the season to be mindful and purposeful about your spending, otherwise 2023 will start with a lot of unwanted debt. Be frugal in some ways so you don't have to feel overly thrifty, and have a wonderful holiday season!


Taylor Kovar
TheMoneyCouple.com
November 8, 2022 Column

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Legal Disclaimer: Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com, or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.



 

 



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